Lee Morgan’s The Sidewinder (1964) is a Blue Note LP design classic. Its thick card sleeve and heavy vinyl contents radiate instant cool. The music delivers what Reid Miles’s cover promises: urbane mid-century modernism that’s both cerebral and sensual.
The Sidewinder may not have the depth of Kind of Blue or the intensity of A Love Supreme, but Blue Note aimed at a different target. Morgan’s music is a kind of design as well as art. Its structure is a grid that reveals its workings: precise unison sax/trumpet lines that split into punchy harmonies; melodic bass parts; and hi-fi drums that dance and swing.